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One and done for Martha Stewart

You've missed your chance to be Martha's Stewart's "Apprentice."

NBC won't be ordering a second season of the Domestic Diva's reality show, which is hardly a surprise. Ratings have been rather rotten.

Stewart's version of "The Apprentice" — patterned after Donald Trump's version — has averaged only 6.7 million viewers. Moving it from Wednesdays at 7 p.m. to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. didn't help — it just got beat up by other shows.

NBC is trying to spin this as something less than the failure it is, insisting that the network only planned on one season of "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" anyway. Yes, and ABC was only planning on one season of "Desperate Housewives," so the second season is just gravy.

Stewart's venture into prime time was doomed from the start. Trump's "Apprentice" was already in serious ratings decline when hers was announced, and it didn't make much sense to add another hour of a flagging franchise every week.

And Stewart didn't give viewers what they wanted. Trying to repair her image after all her highly publicized travails, she was sooooo nice that she was, well, dull. Viewers wanted to see her screaming and slapping people; Stewart was gently telling eliminated contestants, "You just don't fit in."

Which turned out to be the case for Stewart as well.

The two-hour finale of "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" airs Wednesday, Dec. 21. After that, the Domestic Diva can concentrate on daytime with her syndicated talk show.

By the way, that daytime show, "Martha," has done OK in the ratings, but it's no big hit.

ADDING INSULT to injury for Stewart's "Apprentice," NBC has picked up its other new Wednesday-night show, "The E-Ring," for the rest of the season.

"E-Ring" is hardly a hit, although ratings have improved since it moved back an hour to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

In the old days — when NBC was on top of the ratings — it probably would have been canceled. But compared to all the other failing shows on the network, "E-Ring" isn't doing all that bad.

NIGHT STALKER bit the dust this week — ABC has canceled the remake.

Which is no loss at all. More of a remake of "The X-Files" than of the original "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," this show was bad. Real bad.

ABC expands "PrimeTime" to two hours tonight to fill the gap; movies were already scheduled the next two Thursdays; there's no word yet on what will happen after that.

RAY ROMANO RETURNS to CBS's Monday-night lineup on Nov. 28 — but only for a half hour. And only once.

Romano will make a guest appearance on "King of Queens" as his "Everybody Loves Raymond" character, Ray Barone. He and "Queens" star Kevin James are old pals and have guest-starred on each other's sitcoms several times.

Meanwhile . . . there's still no word on a "Raymond" spinoff featuring Brad Garrett as Ray's brother, Robert. Last word was that Garrett was set to go, but the "Raymond" writers and producers weren't on board.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com